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Partner Michael Esquivel Profiled by The Recorder

January 21, 2014

Fenwick & West partner Michael Esquivel is profiled in an article in The Recorder where he discusses the entrepreneurial drive that led to his work as counsel to emerging and high growth companies, challenges he’s faced in his career and his proudest accomplishments.

“I've always had an entrepreneurial impulse,” Michael told The Recorder. “My family runs a small food production company down in L.A., and I've watched them grow the business since I was a kid. I wanted to work with entrepreneurs, I just knew it from a young age.

A partner in Fenwick’s start-ups and venture capital group, Michael provides strategic counseling to emerging and high-growth companies from formation and corporate governance responsibilities to equity incentives and employment issues to intellectual property and commercial transactions. (There’s a thread on Quora identifying Michael as one of the “best startup l​awyers in Silicon Valley.”)

“The whole legal industry is asking itself what are you going to be? Are you trying to be everything to everybody, or are you, like Fenwick & West, going to be focused and be a mile deep in understanding the unique issues that technology and emerging growth companies encounter,” he said.

A well known figure in the emerging field of digital health, Michael calls his work with digital health clients the result of “good timing and good fortune,” having met Rock Health cofounder and CEO Halle Tecco as “[he] was beginning to get excited about the potential to disrupt that $2.8 trillion a year sector.”

“I think it was just a natural opportunity to bridge that Facebook, GoPro consumer tech focus by taking those engagement ideas and bringing them to health and making people think that engagement with their health is cool,” he said. “There is so much synergy with what I was doing before. These companies are more like Facebook, Dropbox and Twitter than they are like pharma and med device companies because of that consumer engagement angle.”

Michael’s clients are among the most innovative companies and his digital health clients like HealthTap are among the best known players disrupting the healthcare industry and empowering healthcare providers and patients to have a more engaged and proactive role in health and wellness.

“We are shifting from a fee-for-system—where a healthcare provider gets paid for running tests, performing procedures, doing something to or with you—to a fee for outcome model," Michael told The Recorder. "Now it's how do we keep a patient healthy."

"We're going to see an enormous transformation over the next two, three, five, 10 years as a result of that move," he added. "The opportunities are just huge.”

Michael said that his favorite thing about working with emerging and high-growth companies is the entrepreneurs.

“Their passion gets me fired up."

To read the full profile, click here.​​